Museveni made the pronouncement after discussions with the executive leaders of Ugandans living and working in the United Arab Emirates, under their umbrella body; The Association of Ugandans living in the United Arab Emirates (AUU) led by the Chairperson Nsubuga Abdulbasit. The meeting that was attended by the 3rd deputy Premier Hon. Rukia Nakadama took place at St. Regis Hotel in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
“We talked about issues of child trafficking in cabinet and agreed to put a shelter where girls can be kept when they get problems here and also strengthen the rules governing the movement of people,” he said, according to a press statement issued by the Presidential Press Unit.
The President advised the leaders to invite Ugandans living in the UAE to register with the association at a fee, which will enable them to run the activities of the Association and monitor their members. He pledged government financial support to run their association and also put some money in their SACCO where members can save and borrow with very small interest
“We shall assist you with funds. I will put USD 100,000 in your SACCO so that you may borrow and start a small business here. We shall also put USD 50,000 in your association,” Museveni said.
For his part, Nsubuga Abdulbasit thanked President Museveni for sparing time off his busy working visit to meet them. The association reported to the President an increasing number of Ugandans trafficked in the UAE and requested support to be able to monitor them and help them where necessary.
“We have got many girls here who are trafficked and they end up on streets suffering. We have been helping them but we need more support,” Nsubuga said. He also informed the president that they used to get reports of Ugandans committing suicide however since they started the association, they are helping them and the cases seem to be levelling off.
There are over 60,000 Ugandans living and working in the United Arab Emirates and they send home over USD 200 million per year according to the Ambassador of Uganda in UAE, Zaake Kibedi.